Court Forms & Legal Tech Survey

Earlier this summer, Civvis conducted a survey through the Self-Represented Litigation Network to learn how legal tech could improve court forms and processes for citizens. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone across the country who made time to take the survey. Your input will help us as we continue our work this summer in the Duke Law Tech Lab and Legal Tech for a Change programs.

About Civvis

Civvis provides a modern, fully featured online platform for court forms and paper-based processes. We’ve redesigned access to help you redefine justice. For more information about how we can help your organization or to demo one of your forms on our platform contact our team at info@civvis.com.

Results Summary

Responses for this survey were provided from representatives from the following groups: Attorneys, Legal Aid, State Courts, Law Libraries, Nonprofits, and other sectors in the Judiciary.

Representatives from 15 states responded to the survey.

Upon analyzing survey submissions, we were able to identify common issues people face when completing court forms. In summary, they are:

  • People struggle to understand court processes
  • People struggle to accurately fill out court forms
  • Technology can streamline existing paper-based processes both client-side and for organizations
  • Mobile-friendly court forms, Text & Email notifications, How-to Videos, and Chatbots would help educate and expedite litigant onboarding

The survey’s results are listed below. Some responses have been removed to provide anonymity. You may download a complete copy of the survey responses here which includes all responses for questions 13 and 14.

1. How would you rank the current level of difficulty for your clients to fill out court forms or paperwork?

2. Does your organization offer Self-Help resources for court forms or paperwork prepared by Self Represented (Pro Se) litigants?

3. Do you use software to manage court forms or paperwork submitted by clients who use your services?

4. Which of the following tools do you use to manage information (data) from clients who use your services? Select all that apply.

5. Does your organization offer translated (multilingual) versions of court forms or paperwork for your clients?

6. Does your organization offer services to assist individuals with disabilities to help read and prepare their court forms or paperwork? (i.e. ADA compliant versions of court forms for screen readers)

7. How would you rank ADA Web Accessibility as a priority for your organization?

8. How do you communicate with your clients regarding their court forms or paperwork?

9. Would any of the following tech features improve how your organization provides legal services to your clients?

10. What type of organization are you a part of?

11. How would you classify the location of your organization?

12. How many staff at your organization frequently work with the public?

13. How do you think the Legal Tech community can improve the experience of present-day legal services for your clients and the individuals who work with them?

“Ensure various companies’ product lines “communicate” well with each other so that a customer is not forced to use a single company for every application.”
“More accessible online resources.”
“From a forms perspective. two things come to mind: mobile-device accessibility for SRLs, and automating order-drafting in complex matters, while at the same time, allowing the required flexibility so that orders are individually tailored.”
“Make legal options easier to understand, make forms easier to complete and streamline processes.”
“Make sure people understand every step they are responsible for throughout their case — many think filling out one set of papers is all they have to do, and they forget to do the follow up steps to move their case forward.”

14. What is your organization’s top ‘pain point’ that can be solved with technology?

“Selecting and preparing court paperwork, determining the proper procedures to accomplish a particular goal.”
“Access to clients in rural areas.”
“I think the difficulty of forms and pleadings could be greatly assisted by intelligent document automation.”
“Data collection is done by hand first, then input into a spreadsheet. An electronic data entry system that automatically tabulates data would be really helpful.”
“Online intake would streamline our staff work immensely. We’re working toward this, and once we’ve got this, it will be a question of integrating that into our forms.”